Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside
Although we have covered tons of power supplies here at APH Networks, this is the first time we are taking a look at one from Fractal Design. The latest power supply in the Fractal Design lineup has a depth of only 15.0cm, and is one of the shortest power supplies we have reviewed here in APH Networks. Most modular power supplies are longer than non-modular units by a centimeter or two, as the extra length is needed to accommodate its connector board at the back. We will take a look inside the PSU on the next page. For most ATX or eATX chassis, length should not be much of a problem, if at all. However, if you have a mATX or mITX case that takes standard power supplies, the shorter length will definitely serve as an advantage, especially considering the fact the Ion+ is fully modular.
From our view above, you can see its low air resistance fan grille in the middle. Fractal Design's logo can be found subtly placed on both sides. The orientation of it is the same on both sides, so the side facing the user after installation will not be correct if you plan to install the PSU with the fan facing up. It will be correct if you plan to install it with the fan facing down, which is the traditional method. Its classical SECC construction comes with a curved break line to make it look more interesting with a parallel wire mesh guarding the primary and only cooling fan installed. The 140mm fan generates airflow by drawing air from the bottom of the power supply over its internal components to keep the temperatures in check. Exhaust heat is allowed to leave at the back of the power supply through the large secondary dot code mesh opening. Meanwhile, ten screws secure the power supply case together; where one screw has a warranty seal over it, so you cannot open the Fractal Design Ion+ 760W Platinum without voiding its ten-year warranty.
Starting from the back part of the power supply, we have the unique dot code mesh design as aforementioned; what you will find here is a horizontally aligned male connector for power input on the western edge along with an on/off switch above it. The low resistance mesh design is implemented to maximize airflow and minimize air resistance. This is done as heat needs to leave the power supply as easily and efficiently as possible, because the Ion+ 760W Platinum incorporates only one 140mm fan at the bottom with no auxiliary fan. The mesh is not very large though, since the bottom 2.5 centimeters is occupied by a specifications label. This is the first time I have seen anyone place a specifications label in this location. As with all active PFC power supplies, the Ion+ 760W Platinum has an automatic full range (100V to 240V) AC line voltage selection, so the user does not have to worry about manually selecting input voltage.
Like many power supplies we cover here at APH Networks, the Ion+ 760W Platinum is a fully modular power supply. This means all cables are completely detachable from the main unit. While it is somewhat questionable with regards to why this is necessary, since cables such as the ATX 24-pin and ATX 4-pin/EPS 8-pin have practically an 100% chance of being connected at all times, it may prove to be beneficial to an extent when building your computer initially.
The rear cable connection panel is done nicely. A fan control switch is found on the left to toggle zero RPM mode on or off. I would much rather have this on the outside panel, but I digress. Similar connectors are grouped together and are laid out in a very logical manner. To ensure you know what is going on, they are all grouped and clearly labeled for minimal ambiguity. From the left to right and top to bottom, we have the motherboard 24-pin, two ATX/EPS 4+4 pin or PCI Express, four Molex/SATA, and three more ATX/EPS 4+4 pin or PCI Express headers. The motherboard section supports an ATX 24-pin connector by two separate blocks next to each other. Incompatible outputs will not physically fit into each other, so I think Fractal Design has done a great job in this regard. This is a reasonable array of outputs in correspondence to the number of connectors on each modular cable, which should be sufficient for casual users and power enthusiasts alike.
The external build quality of Fractal Design's Ion+ 760W Platinum power supply is excellent as always -- a good indication the company is serious about the product they are selling. We will take it apart in just a moment. Fit is done well with minimal panel gaps, and all edges are nicely finished off. The level of refinement with regards to the external build quality is right up there with all the other high-quality PSUs I have used in the past. As aforementioned, we will crack open the power supply to see what components are inside in the following section.
The voltage specification label is located on the outer panel of the Fractal Design Ion+ 760W Platinum. There are two main virtual rails. Up to 22A can be delivered via the +3.3V rail for a total of 72.6W; while the 22A on the +5V rail brings the output to 110W in this area. The total combined output for the +3.3V and +5V rail is 120W. In other words, your power allocation combination must fall within the limits of the listed specifications. Meanwhile, a single powerful +12V rail delivers up to 63.3A (760W) to reduce operating overhead compared to multiple +12V rails. Overall, the combined power output for the whole Fractal Design Ion+ 760W Platinum is... well, 760W haha. Again, your power distribution in your system must fall within the limits provided -- it must not exceed 72.6W on the +3.3V rail, 110W on the +5V rail and 120W combined for both, 760W on the +12V rail, and 760W combined between the +12V and +3.3/+5V rails. It does sound a bit confusing to understand how this works at first, but generally speaking, this configuration allows very flexible power demands and should be sufficient to accommodate most users. I have seen lower power outputs in the +3.3V and 5V rails for higher output rated units. The overall distribution is very reasonable for an 760W power supply.
The Fractal Design Ion+ 760W is 80 Plus Platinum certified, which means that it is certified to be at least 90%, 92%, 89% efficient at 20%, 50%, and 100% load, respectively. Higher certifications available for power supplies of this type include 80 Plus Titanium at press time.
A total of ten modular power cables are included out of the box. All modular cables other than the ATX 20+4-pin cable are flat and easy to bend, making them extremely easy to work with. The ATX 20+4-pin cable is sleeved rather than flat. 16 AWG wires are found on the ATX/EPS 4+4-pin and PCIe 6+2 pin bundles. Everything else is 18 AWG, which, with the exception of the ATX 20+4-pin, is standard and to be expected.
The following modular cables are included out of the box:
- 1x ATX 20+4 pin, 60.0cm
- 1x ATX 4+4 pin, 70.0cm
- 1x EPS 8-pin, 60.0cm
- 3x PCIe 6+2 pin, 2 connectors each, 55.0cm to first connector, 12.0cm spacing thereafter
- 2x SATA, 4 connectors each, 40.0cm to first connector, 12.0cm spacing thereafter
- 1x SATA, 2 connectors, 65.0cm to first connector, 12.0cm spacing thereafter
- 1x Molex, 4 connectors, 40.0cm to first connector, 12.0cm spacing thereafter
These are specified measurements from the manufacturer. Most users should have no problems with Fractal Design's Ion+ 760W Platinum in modern cases. 50cm is the general standard, and this power supply met or exceeded this recommendation in all counts with the exception of some Serial ATA and Molex cables. They are a bit short, but assuming you have a bottom power supply mount and your drives and accessories are located near the bottom, 40.0cm should be sufficient although not ideal.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion